I could camp out in the book of Genesis…if trying to read through the Bible in a year…I could spend a year just in the book of Genesis! There are two powerful scriptures that have meant so much…to me….they scream of God’s power and His heart. In Genesis 41:51-52 we find out the names of Joseph’s two children. His firstborn, Manasseh, was named such “because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” He named the second son Ephraim and said, “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”
Today’s post follows the one from yesterday. If you missed it, go back and read it…the first part of Joseph’s life was pits, chains, and prison…all caused by the hands of men but also allowed by God. As I continue to study the life of Joseph, I am amazed that after all the years of suffering, it seems that in the blink of an eye things “looked up for Joseph”. He was elevated to be the head over “all of Egypt”. Genesis 41:44 “Then pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am pharaoh but without your word no one will lift hand or foot in all of Egypt.” He went from slave to falsely accused to prison…to “IN CHARGE!”
What I really love is that through the “pain”…it is clear…very clear…that how God sustained Joseph was so meaningful to him…to the point…that he gave his children names that represented the remembrance of God’s faithfulness, power, and care. He realized that through the suffering, God made him fruitful and also “caused him to forget” all the trouble from his family.
What does this teach me/you/us? God is the same yesterday, today and forever…if he did it for Joseph…He can and will do it for me/you/us. I am not sure if He has ordained plans for us all to be rulers…but He does have plans to use our “sufferings” to make us fruitful.
At 52…suffering is a given for any human. What kind? I can’t say or predict. I just know that if you are breathing and on planet earth, at some point in life you will experience suffering. But we can trust God to make it fruitful in our lives…we have to trust Him–an action on our part.
At 52….I have also learned and experienced that God’s supernatural power can make us “forget” our trouble. We, in our strength, don’t have that ability, but if we have the desire to forget our trouble…God has the power to “wipe it away!” I love that Joseph declares, “God has made me forget…”
What do you need to forget?
It may not be trouble brought on by a family member, but it may. Is it self-induced? We humans are famous for hurting each other and ourselves.….God is famous for enabling us to forgive…but He can also make us forget. In fact, I am specifically praying He will wipe my mind clean of several troubles I have experienced in life.
A number of people I have talked with one-on-one…think I have never suffered…they judge based on what they can see. It may not be “visible to them,” but it is real and painful and I can honestly say, like Joseph, I see the fruit in my life. I, like Joseph, want to make it known. I may not be able to name a child but I can write about it! My “pain” has caused me to look at others and wonder, “In what ways are they suffering?”
Look at Job’s friends in Job 2:12-13, “When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.”
It was obvious Job was suffering and his friends grieved for him. The pain in someone’s life isn’t always so obvious, and my own personal pain, which I choose not to write about, makes me very aware that suffering and pain are all around me. Often people may not share for many good reasons. I want to encourage you to trust that, in time, His time, not mine/yours/ours.…He can heal and help you forget. As I seek the Lord in forgetting the pain, I love to claim the mustard seed scripture in my prayer life.
Matthew 17:20, “He replied, ‘Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.’”
If you are or have experienced pain in your life…know that God can move mountains…mountains of memories…that seem to creep up when we aren’t expecting them….WE are not capable but …God is….
Hebrews 4:14-16, “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”